Hello from southeast Missouri! I have a momma hen I have a question about!


May 8, 2015
I'm a new member but not new to the site. I've been raising chickens for fun, eggs, and food now for a little over a year. I have a somewhat specific question that I haven't yet found an answer to. We have a lovely blue wyandotte that hatched out ten chicks. The chicks are now four weeks old. She has started laying again!
A little background, due to weather conditions and some space limitations, she sat on her eggs and has been living with her babies in a large dog crate. She and her chicks have free ranged daily with the rest of the flock since just after hatch, but at night she takes them back to the crate while the rest of the flock (12 including a roo) go back to the coop.
In addition, we have eleven 7 week old pullets in a grow out coop that also free range daily with the rest of the flock.(they are hatchery chicks). We haven't had any issues so far at all.
The hatchery chicks are super friendly because we've had to handle them regularly. The hens chicks have had momma's protection so we haven't handled them as much.
So my question, I want to go ahead and introduce the hatchery chicks to the coop, and move the hens chicks to the grow out coop. Do you think momma hen will freak out if I take them from her? She's started laying again already. Is that a sign that she is ready to stop mothering? I really want her chicks to go in the grow out coop so they will be handled more and be more friendly.

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

I honestly can't give you a definite answer. All hens react differently and it's impossible to tell for sure how she will react. Since she is back to laying I would say go ahead and take them from her but since she continues to care for them, makes me wonder. Most hens that start back to laying, abandon their chicks. I guess it's worth a shot!


5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
peace, hope and country
Welcome to BYC. I am not sure about your question. I think this is one of those things you have to try out what works. You have a good plan. Try it. If it doesn't work out then adjust as needed. Sorry if this isn't helpful but some things are trial and error because each animal is so different.
I had a hen lay on here eggs for over half a month and then abandon the eggs. It was so sad. The eggs were cold so it wasn't just a quick break. My hens are all a yr or younger so maybe next yr they will be up for the task. Nice you have a good mommy hen who hatched her chicks!


Keeper of the Flock
7 Years
Nov 4, 2014
East Tennessee.

Glad you joined us.

I agree with @BlessedCountry6 's advise. 4 Weeks is a little early to separate the chicks from mama, but every chicken is different, and you hen may be getting ready to leave her babies especially if she has started laying again. You may want to go ahead and separate them, and if your hen freaks out, you can always put them back together again. Good luck with your flock.

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
I agree with MillieFleur try it and if it doesn't work put them back. I do think once she serious about laying she will either let the chicks go, or else decide she is broody once again. That wouldn't be good. She needs sometime to bounce back.

Lots of broody moms kick the chicks to the curb pretty early. Your girl is a great mama.


May 8, 2015
Thanks everyone for the input! It's much appreciated! I think we're going to go ahead with our plan and see how it goes. I'll let you know!

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